When Rae Sremmurd announced their third effort Sremmlife 3 would be released as three separate albums, fans were ready for the plethora of new material. What came from it are three albums - one as a duo and two "solo" efforts - that are quite different, but not cohesive. Rae Sremmurd's SR3MM, Swaecation, and Jxmtro feel too divided and don't have much going for them.
The best of the three, or at least the most consistent, is Swae Lee's record Swaecation. Lee adopts a very chill mood for his material, channeling Frank Ocean to create some sensual and smooth textures. 'Heartbreak In Encino Hills' in specific really gets that Ocean vibe, its reverberating chords full of emotion. Chill vibes are really the center of Swaecation, opening track 'Touchscreen Navigation' starting the vibe and the rest of the album expanding on it. 'Guatemala' adds an alternative vibe to it to provide for something interesting, while the melodies of 'Hurt To Look' add a more soothing tone to it. The entire album has you wanting more, though; it feels like every track falls just short of hitting just that right level, Swae Lee sounding more like he's trying to make the music of his influences than his own. 'Offshore' with Young Thug suffers from this, while closing track 'What's In Your Heart' just ends up being repetitive.
The worst of the bunch, conversely, is Slim Jxmmi's Jxmtro. Like how consistently chill Swaecation is, Jxmtro consistently delivers the most average, contrived trap rap sound possible. Opening tracks 'Brxnks Truck' and 'Players Club' at least sound average; everything else falls far below the threshold. 'Anti-Social Smokers Club' with Zoë Kravitz just sounds plain dumb, but still not as awful as Pharrell is in 'Chanel.' It's like he got into the studio and they told him to pretend he's going through puberty. Jxmtro is incredibly dull, numbers like 'Cap' with Trouble and 'Keep God First' just not adding anything to the album. And, as 'Juggling Biddies' with Riff 3x does, if you finish a song and feel like all you heard is "look at me, I have sex," you have to realize something's wrong.
SR3MM, where the two actually collaborate as Rae Sremmurd, hits the middle ground between the two. It's not fantastic but it's not horrible, though it is wildly inconsistent. There are some big bangers, like 'CLOSE' with Travis Scott that simply goes off, and the awesome beat of 'Powerglide' (which is subsequently ruined by Juicy J, but we'll look past that). Then there are some true stinkers, like the dull closing 'T'd Up' and the uninteresting 'Perplexing Pegasus' which manages to do that while trying to be interesting. They managed to make The Weeknd sound boring in 'Bedtime Stories,' which is truly a feat. 'Buckets' is overall just a wreck, the off-tune beat becoming jarring after awhile and Future not helping out.
Rae Sremmurd's SR3MM, Swaecation, and Jxmtro feel too divided and are all too inconsistent between each other to really make a lasting effect. Very few tracks among the three albums really stand out and make a splash. Most of the tracks you end up remembering are the ones that are just truly bad. Perhaps instead of going with a gimmick, they should've focussed on making one, strong central record.
Favorite Track: CLOSE
Least Favorite Tracks: Buckets, T'd Up, Perplexing Pegasus
Rating: 69 / 100
Favorite Track: Guatemala
Least Favorite Track: What's In Your Heart
Rating: 71 / 100
Favorite Track: Players Club
Least Favorite Tracks: Chanel, Juggling Biddies
Rating: 46 / 100
Buy or stream SR3MM, Swaecation, and Jxmtro on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: